Best Practices for Shipping Coffee

Best Practices for Shipping Coffee

Many coffee retailers are looking to expand their operations beyond local territories. Whether shipping from within the United States or out of the country, expanding comes with a host of benefits, including greater market reach, more opportunities for profitability, and further brand recognition. However, following best practices for shipping coffee is crucial to ensure you make the most of your business. Below, we’ve outlined several tips and strategies for shipping coffee. 

The increased market demand: Why ship coffee?

While coffee lovers may enjoy a fresh cup of coffee from a brick-and-mortar location, they are also becoming increasingly conscious of the most cost-effective way to enjoy a good cup of joe at home. Purchasing coffee and other food items online is a new concept gaining traction recently. More and more consumers are taking to the internet to find high-quality coffee, often looking for the cheapest way to do so. 

Notable coffee company brands such as Keurig and Nespresso have gained considerable popularity among online shoppers, particularly due to the accessibility of bulk purchases and a diverse range of flavors not always readily available in brick-and-mortar stores. 

The allure of convenience and variety has propelled single-cup coffee sales in the coffee industry, constituting a significant 25% share of online coffee transactions. Beyond single servings, the online marketplace offers an extensive array of products, spanning from specialty coffees to wellness-infused options like green coffee beans, coffee blends, and coffee roasters. 

With a robust demand, the global online coffee market is poised for substantial growth, projected to soar to $45.81 billion by 2028. This escalating demand presents a lucrative opportunity for eCommerce businesses to tap into the global market by shipping coffee worldwide, capitalizing on the surging interest in premium coffee experiences delivered straight to consumers’ doorsteps.

Shipping coffee: 10 Best practices for eCommerce businesses

Before you begin shipping coffee globally, it’s important to understand the best practices to ensure your coffee products arrive on time and in good condition to secure customer satisfaction and global market sales. Here are our top 10 best practices for shipping coffee. 

  1. Utilize Quality Packaging Materials 

Whether shipping coffee grounds, beans, or other coffee-related products, ensuring your items are packaged with the utmost care is crucial. Bags of coffee filled with grounds can easily spill if not sealed properly. Our number one best practice is to invest in high-quality packaging specifically designed for coffee shipments. This may include vacuum-sealed bags or foil-lined pouches to help preserve freshness and aroma during transit. Further, consider exploring different shipping methods and packaging options to find what works best for your particular product. Flat-rate shipping is often favorable, enabling businesses to ship at a set rate. This shipping option helps companies plan their budget accordingly while optimizing costs by shipping packages of similar size, weight, and dimensions. 

  1. Roast Date Visibility

Freshness is of the utmost importance to consumers when ordering consumable products online. A key best practice when shipping coffee is to ensure the roast date is clearly visible on packaging labels. This information assures customers of the coffee’s freshness and allows them to make informed purchasing decisions. The best way to ensure freshness is to consult with your roastery to finetune your coffee production schedule to determine optimal brewing times. Freshness will also depend on the shipping method chosen; for example, air freight is significantly quicker, with an estimated transit time of 1-3 business days, whereas ground transportation can take substantially longer, with an anticipated delivery of 6-10 business days. Both travel times will vary based on the shipping provider and destination, but coordinating your shipping schedule to accommodate the freshest roast for your customers is the best way to ensure satisfaction. While most coffee beans can maintain freshness for up to one year after being sealed, the fresher the coffee, the better taste for your customers. 

  1. Use Adequate Cushioning

Coffee and other coffee products can be fragile to ship. Adequate cushioning helps safeguard the product while traveling across the globe. Consider using biodegradable packing peanuts or recycled paper crinkle cut as eco-friendly options that will also protect the integrity of your product. An opened food item is deemed contaminated. Not to mention, broken or spilled items result in poor customer satisfaction, requiring the customer to request a new product or refund, further tainting their online shopping experience. 

  1. Consider Optimal Storage Conditions

An essential step in shipping coffee involves stabilizing the temperature of the product to protect the freshness. A great best practice is to store coffee inventory in a controlled environment with stable temperature and humidity levels before shipping. This practice maintains the quality of the beans and prevents flavor degradation.

  1. Use Customizable Packaging

Consumers often purchase coffee as a gift. Offering customizable packaging options for customers, such as personalized labels or branded packaging, enhances brand recognition and creates a memorable unboxing experience. Not only are you providing a customizable option for your consumers, but you’re also improving the integrity of your company. 

  1. Handle with Care

Utilizing fragile labels isn’t only for delicate glass or electronic devices, these labels can be used for coffee as well. As a delicate product, coffee packaging must be handled with the utmost care. Recognizing the fragility of coffee beans and the importance of preserving their delicate flavors, fragile stickers on shipping boxes help communicate to shippers and handlers the nature of your shipments and that they must be handled with consideration. 

  1. Educate Your Customers

In addition to prioritizing quality packaging practices like using bubble wrap or additional cushioning for your coffee products, consider including brewing recommendations and instructions to guide customers on the best brewing methods for the specific coffee they’ve purchased. Educating customers about the importance of proper coffee usage and storage upon delivery helps create a positive experience once your item(s) arrive. Further, emphasize the importance of storing coffee in airtight containers away from light, heat, and moisture to maintain freshness. This precaution ensures your customer receives a quality product they can enjoy continuously. 

  1. Package Shipping Tracking 

While many shipping partners offer standard shipping options like priority mail, express, or expedited, tracking shipments is crucial to help keep your customers in the loop on precisely where their shipment is located. This is particularly important for items traveling overseas. For example, if John orders a bag of coffee beans from Columbia and is anticipating the delivery by Friday so he can gift the imported goods to his friend, tracking would enable him to see if his items were held up in customs, shipped on time, or if an unexpected delay occurred. Offering traceability provides valuable insights, such as origin information or direct trade partnerships, to provide customers with transparency about the coffee’s journey from farm to cup.

  1. International Considerations 

When shipping outside a country’s borders, it’s essential to factor in various considerations that could alter the shipping process. Factors such as shipping costs for coffee products, travel time, and country- restrictions can all affect the process. For example, if a company is based in the United States and looking to ship to another country, additional documentation on top of the standard customs documents may be required. It’s also important to consider import duties or additional costs like taxes or tariffs that may apply to coffee shipments. An experienced shipping partner can assist with the logistics of getting products to international customers.

  1. Choose a Reliable Partner 

Selecting the right shipping and logistics partner is paramount when shipping coffee locally or internationally to ensure timely delivery and product integrity. A reliable partner should possess expertise in handling perishable goods and navigating complex international regulations. A key best practice is to look for a provider with a proven track record of shipping food products, particularly coffee, to your target markets. 

Additionally, consider factors such as temperature-controlled shipping options to preserve coffee freshness throughout its journey. Transparent communication, responsive customer support, and robust tracking capabilities are also essential criteria for evaluating potential partners. By carefully vetting shipping and logistics providers and prioritizing reliability and quality service, coffee businesses can streamline their international shipping operations and deliver exceptional coffee experiences to customers worldwide. 

Ship Coffee With ePost Global 

At ePost GLobal, we offer tailored services catered to your coffee business’ unique shipping needs. We provide various delivery options, including USPS priority mail international, priority mail express and so much more, allowing you to choose the solution that aligns best with timing the delivery to correspond with brewing times to maintain freshness. Rather than function as a traditional provider like UPS, FedEx, or DHL, our solutions are catered to your business specifically. When you work with us, you receive: 

  • Customized quotes
  • Affordable shipping rates
  • Expert international advice 
  • Fast mail and parcel delivery
  • Customs compliance
  • Proper shipping labeling 
  • Advanced door-to-door package tracking 
  • Quality customer support

Our expert team is well-versed in the intricacies of packaging, shipping, and transporting goods across borders, offering comprehensive support every step of the way.

Here’s how ePost Global can assist you:

Customs Management

We handle all aspects of customs clearance, ensuring compliance with regulations and streamlining the documentation process. From completing necessary forms to providing Harmonized Standard Codes, we take care of everything, allowing you to focus on your business. Our seamless integration with third-party shipping systems ensures efficiency and accuracy in customs management.

Customized Services

Unlike generic shipping solutions, we offer tailored services designed to meet your unique shipping requirements. We offer various delivery options, including express, standard, and economy shipping, so you can choose the solution that best fits your business model. Our customized quotes, affordable rates, and expert advice ensure a smooth shipping experience from start to finish.

Quality Customer Experience

We prioritize customer satisfaction by providing prompt delivery times, transparent shipping rates, and advanced package tracking. By offering various delivery options and managing customer expectations regarding customs clearance, we enhance flexibility and convenience for your customers. With ePost Global as your shipping partner, you can foster trust, loyalty, and brand reputation among customers while ensuring a seamless shipping process every time.

Ship coffee with ease

Incorporating these best practices into your coffee shipping operations can help ensure that customers receive high-quality coffee beans that are fresh, flavorful, and delivered with care. As coffee businesses expand their reach to global markets, they encounter a world of opportunities to share their craft and passion with coffee enthusiasts worldwide. 

From understanding customs regulations to selecting reliable shipping partners, every aspect of the shipping process plays a crucial role in ensuring that coffee reaches its destination safely and promptly. By leveraging innovative shipping solutions, embracing transparency and communication, and prioritizing customer satisfaction, coffee businesses can overcome challenges and unlock the immense potential of international markets. 

Whether you’re shipping coffee beans, roasters, or single serve coffee pods, ePost Global can help you achieve excellence when crossing borders. We have years of experience shipping across the country to the UK, Asia, Canada and beyond. 
Get started today! Contact us for more information.

Related Posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *